EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) The soul which hath touched.
—Better, the man who hath,
that is, the priest for whom these laws are here enacted. Hence the ancient Chaldee version renders it “the man a priest.”
Shall be unclean until even.—When the day ends and another begins (see Leviticus 11:24-32), and when he had to immerse his body in water.
22:1-33 Laws concerning the priests and sacrifices. - In this chapter we have divers laws concerning the priests and sacrifices, all for preserving the honour of the sanctuary. Let us recollect with gratitude that our great High Priest cannot be hindered by any thing from the discharge of his office. Let us also remember, that the Lord requires us to reverence his name, his truths, his ordinances, and commandments. Let us beware of hypocrisy, and examine ourselves concerning our sinful defilements, seeking to be purified from them in the blood of Christ, and by his sanctifying Spirit. Whoever attempts to expiate his own sin, or draws near in the pride of self-righteousness, puts as great an affront on Christ, as he who comes to the Lord's table from the gratification of sinful lusts. Nor can the minister who loves the souls of the people, suffer them to continue in this dangerous delusion. He must call upon them, not only to repent of their sins, and forsake them; but to put their whole trust in the atonement of Christ, by faith in his name, for pardon and acceptance with God; thus only will the Lord make them holy, as his own people.
The soul - Rather, the person. Compare the use of the word "body" in the Prayer Book version of Psalm 53:1
, and in the compounds "somebody, nobody".
4-6. wash his flesh with water—Any Israelite who had contracted a defilement of such a nature as debarred him from the enjoyment of his wonted privileges, and had been legally cleansed from the disqualifying impurity, was bound to indicate his state of recovery by the immersion of his whole person in water. Although all ceremonial impurity formed a ground of exclusion, there were degrees of impurity which entailed a longer or shorter period of excommunication, and for the removal of which different rites required to be observed according to the trivial or the malignant nature of the case. A person who came inadvertently into contact with an unclean animal was rendered unclean for a specified period; and then, at the expiry of that term, he washed, in token of his recovered purity. But a leper was unclean so long as he remained subject to that disease, and on his convalescence, he also washed, not to cleanse himself, for the water was ineffectual for that purpose, but to signify that he was clean. Not a single case is recorded of a leper being restored to communion by the use of water; it served only as an outward and visible sign that such a restoration was to be made. The Book of Leviticus abounds with examples which show that in all the ceremonial washings, as uncleanness meant loss of privileges, so baptism with water indicated a restoration to those privileges. There was no exemption; for as the unclean Israelite was exiled from the congregation, so the unclean priest was disqualified from executing his sacred functions in the sanctuary; and in the case of both, the same observance was required—a formal intimation of their being readmitted to forfeited privileges was intimated by the appointed rite of baptism. If any one neglected or refused to perform the washing, he disobeyed a positive precept, and he remained in his uncleanness; he forbore to avail himself of this privilege, and was therefore said to be "cut off" from the presence of the Lord.
No text from Poole on this verse.
The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even,.... Which is the time fixed by the several laws for such uncleannesses, see Leviticus 11:31
and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water; in forty seahs of water, as the Targum of Jonathan; yea, when the evening is come, he may not eat of the heave or wave offerings, until he has dipped himself all over in water; nor should any eat of the Lord's supper under the New Testament, but such as are first baptized in water. The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.